Charlotte – 06

Did I say the structure of this show was disintegrating? Well, now it’s outright collapsed.

I felt alarm bells ring when Tomori kicked Takajou out of the window – sure, it was a hilarious scene, and it also gave us a little of the ruthless Yuu we’ve been wanting back, and even made us wonder if Tomori could tell what Yuu was thinking and intervened to stop him from possessing Takajou for a greater purpose. But it was also a warning that his kind of comedy wouldn’t belong in what was to follow. Notice how Misa didn’t interrupt anything either; the comedic side of our power-users went dormant this week – heck, no-one but Ayumi used their powers at all – and Charlotte filled in the gap with a much greater sense of mystery and dread than ever before.

For a start, who are all these new people? There’s a lot of speculation that the orange-haired girl who arrived at the end is part of a group of mysterious figures who may be about to extend the size of this cast dramatically. Being so accustomed to the power-a-week format, a lot of viewers may have grown unaware as to how massive a plot may be lying underneath the Student Council’s missions. The arrival of Ayumi’s ability has collapsed this show, and we’ll have to dig through the rubble to find what its real foundations were.

We also quickly discovered that Ayumi’s ability, in keeping with the show’s connections between puberty and the powers, links to how she has ‘collapsed’ relationships around her. Having been unaware of these things, we have to wonder how well-equipped Yuu has been to protect his imouto in the first place. He didn’t have the authority to stop her from going to school, nor could he have defended her from a jealous girl creepier than any of the zombies in that other show I’m reviewing.

Part of the tragedy in the potential for Ayumi’s demise is in the thought that, despite Yuu’s love for his sister, he was never close enough to her to stop the rubble from hurting her. His earlier hatred of the pizza sauce echoes throughout this episode; that device already feels like more than just a gimmick for feels, summing up the faults in his relationship towards her perfectly. For someone who wants to be everyone else, why couldn’t Yuu be at one with his sister, the last bastion of family he appears to have? Why did the Student Council (especially last episode) begin to seem more like his family than she was?

It’s also curious to note how Ayumi was the source of most of what we’d have gotten if this was just a power-of-the-week episode; she’s now the one who has comedic overreactions to Yusarin, the one who hints further at the potential for Yuu and Tomori to be closer, and the only one who makes a dramatic scene with her power. If this is the end for her (well, the temporary end – we’re sure to be introduced to what Time Travel can do for whatever happened to her), she certainly went out with a bang.

Thing is, this didn’t feel like a typical Maeda twist. The ‘feels’ weren’t in the moment of destruction – all we have is panic, confusion (what was Mr Drippy doing at the scene after the credits?) and fear until next week, when I’m sure the show will devote ample time to making us wish we’d seen more of the girl, in preparation for the show taking a much darker turn. We’ve got plenty of unsettling visuals to bring into play, and even the show’s official website has accepted that the old is no more. I can’t fault this choice of pacing; Maeda is forcing us to have too many balls to juggle until next week when we’re used to having had far fewer questions on our minds throughout the series so far.

Final Thoughts

I wonder if Misa and Takajou will begin to play a more critical role to the main plot after being left out this week. Perhaps they’ll remain the same, albeit with Yuu and Tomori – and whoever else now joins them – giving their antics far less attention. While this show’s often been a barrel of laughs, I’m all for Maeda making this an entirely different show from now on. It would be a grand midpoint reversal in multiple ways.

Finally, I have to commend the casting for all the minor characters so far. We got so many more than we’re used to this week, but all of them still held their all as completely natural characters who could easily – and might in the future – have more of a spotlight of their own.

Let’s just hope that blood at the end was just pizza sauce. Or maybe we shouldn’t – maybe the sauce was Ayumi’s lifeblood all along. D:

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